Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to me?

Yup, today is my Birthday. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am the poster child for non-celebration. I don't enjoy celebrating my Birthday but it does become a significant day of reflection. A day in which you size up your life, it's failures and accomplishments. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for such days I certainly hope that I have many more in my future.

Today, my mom took me to lunch and my wife and daughter took me to dinner for my Birthday. Enjoyed both not for the occasion but for the family I love. My son called me from college and wished me a happy Birthday. I never tire of his calls or IM's. My daughter asked me if I could take her to get her belly button pierced. I did. It was probably the highlight of my day seeing how happy she was. These are my birthday presents. Maybe that is why I don't need one specific day to celebrate. I find these little gifts come throughout the year.

I will end on a more reflective note. I often turn to this book "Revolution on Canvas", poetry from the Indie music scene, edited by Rick Balling. It is full of poetry from some of the best Indie rockers. This poem is by Russ Rankin of the band Good Riddance.

Blank Pages
When I stop living
When I am dead
When I no longer walk, talk,
Or breathe
When my insides stop working
Will I leave anything substantial?
Will anything I've done, said,
Or erected
During my brief tour here
Empower, enlighten,
Or endure
When I happen to pause
In the course of an average day
And think these thoughts
It's as if Time itself hits me
On it's way to wherever
It is going
In such a hurry
Why am I?
There are no answers for me
In this life
Only these long days
And blank pages to fill

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

From Fame To Tame

There is a great article in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that talks about an artists ability to be bold and radical with their art until the world begins to notice their work. Then, the artist tends to move into something more mainstream. I've struggled with this as I slowly try to move into a more serious role in the fine art arena. Read the article, it is fascinating.

As an artist, my work and work of other artists I respect, especially musicians, ebbs and flows in content, context, an emotion depending on many factors of your current and past life experiences. I am not real familiar with this artist so I can't make a judgment on her body of work. The author of this article, Peter Plagens, seems to think that Opie has moved from Fame to Tame or Radical to Mainstream as her career has progressed. I guess, in the end, only the artist and their closest friends and family may know that answer but is does raise a question that as artists, we must be concerned about.

The images above are by artist Catherine Opie.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

INFLUENCE/MENTOR you've never met?

This was an interesting topic that was the center of our conversation at our last dinner gathering. Unfortunately for me I wasn't able to attend. I can imagine from the dynamic group of individuals, a very insightful evening of discussion took place last Sunday. I will have to get the Reader's Digest version the next time we get together.

The topic for the evening was, to come prepared to discuss, who was an major influence or mentor in your life that you have never met. For me as an visual artist, that influence would have to be the band Alice Cooper. Music in general has influenced my visual imagery more than any other type of art or artist but none more that Alice Cooper. From early song's such as "Caught in a Dream", "Billion Dollar Babies", "I Love the Dead", and Muscle of Love to mid career songs such as "From the Inside", "Nurse Rozetta", and "Millie and Billie"; the band always challenged the status quo both lyrically and musically. The fancy die-cut flaps on numerous album cover jackets pushed the envelope on design and photography.

Today, my fine art photography reflects a lot of those musical and lyrical influences of the late 60's and the 1970's. Music continues to be both a great motivator and stimulus for creativity for my fine art images. If you would like to see some of my earlier work then check out the Doll Narrative Series gallery at my website.

This briefly describes one of my main influences as an artist. I'd love to hear who has been an influence/mentor in your life?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

West Allis Arts A'Fair

Saturday, September 13 from 10am to 3pm; the West Allis City Hall building and grounds will host a variety of artists from the West Allis community and beyond. Work will be for sale by artists.

The 5th annual West Allis Art A'Fair will represent 21 artists showing photography, painting, jewelry, woodworking, and other fine arts. Poetry and music will also fill the grounds with artistic sounds and expression. Food and drink are available for sale.

This event is free and open to the public.

I will be showing all new work. Gone are the landscapes and back are some of the “different” type of photography I’ve done in the past. If you are looking for something to do on Saturday the 13th, stop by.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

CoPA 2nd Annual Juried Show Selection

I was fortunate to have one of my images selected for the Coalition of Photographic Arts 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition. This years event Juror was George Slade.

George Slade, Artistic Director of the Minnesota Center for Photography, juried this year’s exhibition; selecting 60 photographs from 42 artists. Slade said, “These 42 artists have brought unique visions to bear on a wonderfully intriguing assortment of subject matter. Many of the photographs pose questions about representation, and many provide insights that are accessible to those willing to look closely. There are excellent single images in the show and provocative groupings that highlight photography’s inherent multiplicity and the complexity of visual story-telling. In successful cases, I was intrigued by how an application expanded my awareness of the world and enhanced my appreciation of the medium’s grasp. I look forward to experiencing the exhibition in the galleries. ”

The Exhibition opens on Friday, September 12 with an opening reception from 5-9pm at the Walker's Point Center for the Arts (WPCA).

Nearly 700 images from 150 artists were entered in this years Juried Show competition. All the information about the photographers was removed prior to Slade's jury process selection. The selection was based completely on Slade's artistic judgment. The 42 artists accepted for this years show come from Illinois (18), Minnesota (12), and Wisconsin (12).

The Exhibition runs from Friday, September 12 through Saturday October 18. There will be a Juror Reception and Gallery Talk with George Slade on Friday, October 10 from 6-8pm. The show closes with a closing reception on Friday, October 17 from 5-9pm. This is also Gallery Night in Milwaukee so there will be plenty to see around town.